Defining Domestic Violence and Abuse
Domestic violence is behavior pattern through which the abuser keeps power and control over their partner in an intimate relationship, regardless of whether the individuals are married. Domestic violence affects people regardless of their race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. People right here in Wichita Falls, from all walks of life can be victims of domestic violence, regardless of financial status and access to a Wichita Falls domestic violence lawyer for help.
Physical abuse can include hurting another directly by pulling hair, hitting, biting, choking, slapping, kicking or using weapons to cause harm. Not all physical abuse leaves scars. There are plenty of abuse cases where victims are held captive, abandoned in strange places or are forced to participate in harmful situations including forced use of drugs or alcohol.
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline Anytime 24/7: 1-800-799-SAFE / 1-800-799-7233
Common strategies abusers use to keep control over their victims:
- Intimidation – that look, gesture, display of force, weapons and acts of destruction
- Threats – making threats to leave, hurt, harm, or act to cause harm or embarrassment
- Isolation – preventing the other from talking to or having access to friends and family
- Economic Abuse –withholding money, preventing the other from making money
- Emotional Abuse – put downs, name calling, guilting behavior, suggesting insanity
- Undermining the Other Parent – using the children, harassing, threatening to take children
- Using Children as Pawns – talking bad about the other, using leverage to earn favor
- Strong Expectant Behavior – treating the other like a servant or subservient human
Why Do People Abuse Others?
To maintain power and control, domestic violence abusers hurt their intimate partners. Abusers are often internally insecure and lack feelings of self-worth and control in their lives. Some people say that abusers likely have been victims of abuse at some point in their lives. Some also say that abuse is learned through society and culture.
There is never an excuse to abuse another or commit acts of domestic violence towards your intimate partner. Regardless of the source of or reason people commit abuse, it is never acceptable.
Protective Orders and Domestic Violence
Protective Orders are available for victims of domestic violence when those victims decide to leave and get help. A protective order, based on a sworn statement and evidence by the applicant, can be ordered by the court to order the abuser to stay away from the victim, with a list of restrictions. Violating a protective order may earn the abuser a one-way trip to jail. In cases where the abuser and victim are married, a protective order is part of the initial proceedings in a divorce.
Be prepared when you seek a protective order because an already angry and agitated abuser can seek revenge including serious bodily harm and death. To be as prepared as possible, talk to your attorney, counselor, clergy member or any other who may be helping you plan to leave an abuser safely, with much attention paid to protecting you and your location and travels.
Richard T. Sutherland is a divorce and family law attorney in Wichita Falls, Texas, representing men and women with legal issues involving allegations of domestic abuse and family violence. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you need a Wichita Falls domestic violence lawyer, call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland in at (940) 691-2100.